We just finished capstone projects for our sixth cohort! Wow!

Each student has a different project idea with their own personal learning goals. Many of the challenges students face during capstones are above and beyond what they have faced during classroom time. Students must manage their time, communicate often and be able to manage their own tasks and goals. We find that this experience is invaluable in helping students develop their own workflow before they transition into their internships.

No matter how many features each student builds, everyone learns a great deal about their tools and technologies. Some folks learn about what it’s like to switch from a relational database to a NoSQL database. Some folks learn how to integrate new technologies with tools they’ve already used. Some folks learn how to utilize a new front-end framework like React to create more dynamic web applications.

For instructors, this is a great time to see how far our students have come in their classroom time. Instructors act as project managers for the students to help direct feature prioritization, help with UI design and generally help with bugs. Oftentimes the students are learning about things that we have never used ourselves, so it’s a great learning experience for us all!

The capstone project culminates in the presentation where students have 5 minutes to provide a live demo of their work as well as highlight the learning experiences they had. Presentations are the final thing that each class in the cohort will do together before they head off to their internships in February.

Here are a few projects that students wanted to share:

Seattle Food Safety

Kelly created Seattle Food Safety after some bad experiences with food poisoning. Her project uses King County’s food inspection information to classify restaurants as safe or unsafe. You can filter for your zipcode and type of restaurant to get a list of restaurants that match the criteria. You can also explore these zip codes on the map. Check it out at https://seattle-foodsafety.herokuapp.com/.


Lauren likes to knit, but it is often difficult to estimate the time a specific project will take.  Her project uses the Ravelry API data to analyze and categorize similar projects and provide an estimated timeframe.  Users of Ravelry can log in with their Ravelry account and use the site to organize their projects and see estimated times for a given pattern.  The site can be  found at:  https://laurenfb.github.io/knitsights/   

Zine Dreams

Dianne is a scholar of zines (DIY magazines), recording and preserving these important cultural artifacts. However as many zines don’t have full names for authors, publishing dates or even titles, keeping track of a collection can be extremely difficult. Enter Zine Dreams, a flexible cataloging service for zine librarians. You can explore the collection at http://www.zinedreams.com/